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Posts Tagged ‘EPL 2013-2014’

WHU vs Crystal Palace 19/04/2014 EPL 2013 – 2014

April 20, 2014 Leave a comment

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One minute applause for Dylan Tombides

 

This was a game overshadowed by 2 events for me. One was the untimely and very sad passing of promising centre forward Dylan Tombides from a 3 year battle with cancer. The other was meeting with a good friend of mine who starts his chemo this week, after being diagnosed with some serious Cancer complications out of the blue resulting in massive operations less then 24 hrs post diagnoses. The words of Shankly went through my head, and i will have the disagree with the great man this time.

Dylan’s number 38 has been retired by the club and they held a very moving minutes applause before the start of the game witnessed by his brother and father.

The game to me was going to be a drawn out 0-0, that would secure league survival for both teams, and started as such. Sam set out his usual shocking formation, and Pulis didn’t do much better. But the Eagles seemed to have the upper hand as they were more lively up front even if it meant Yannick Bolasie diving all over the place like Tom Daly after a night on the piss. But WHU had possession, and outside of Andy Carroll getting a couple of chances, and one falling to the ever depressing Diame, neither team was going to break the deadlock.

The second half was more of the same, but WHU were retreating more and more into their shells, inviting Palace on. This meant more action in our box. Eventually the inevitable happened when Pablo Armero tripped Cameron Jerome in the box. Jedinak took the pen well, and that sealed the game. 

There were shouts for penatlies on both sides, and that just about sums up the quality of the game all round.

So Palace are now safe, and we are not with 3 tricky games to go, West Brom (A), Totts (H) and Man City away on the last day. Other results will keep us up I imagine, so we must look to next season. I watched Sam this morning on Sky talking about improving the squad, but the reception he got at the end of the game (again), points to the fact that he probably wont be there to improve anything.

Last up, Palace fans, superb all day, plenty of noise and really got behind their team.

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West Ham United vs Hull City EPL 26/03/2014

March 27, 2014 Leave a comment

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My new addition to the WHU collection !

Tonight saw WHU probably secure their premier league safety as Sunderland went down fighting at Liverpool, but once again there was nothing to shout about but there was enough for Sam to have a pop at the paying punter.

First up, there was a nice touch from the WHU fans below me jin the lower tier just before kick off as they unveiled a banner with NO TO HULL TIGERS on it with crossed hammers at each end. So far so good.

WHU started well, but after 9 mins Collins came off injured and was replaced by Roger Johnson. I assume Winston Reid’s season is still not back on track. Anyway they continued dominating the game and both Diame and Downing looked lively on the wings. Just before the half hour mark, Mark Noble drove into the box , passed the ball and Diame was right in front of goal, but McGregor came out and just took him out below the knee as Diame was lifting the ball over him. The game carried on for about 10 seconds and then stopped (I assumed that as both the keeper and Diame were down and hurt the ref had stopped the game). The keeper was in a bad way and didn’t get up for a few mins. Then I noticed the Hull players surrounding the ref and Mark Noble holding the ball. The second the keeper got up, he was helped off the pitch by a physio and a red card. I am also assuming some use of the radio to the lino was used (although in post match, apparently the ref said it was all his own decision). On comes Harper as a replacement and Nobes comfortably puts it passed him to put the Hammers into the lead.From here in it should of been a walk in the park, and apart from the odd foray forward West ham progressively got worse and worse, still trying long balls, rather than run Hull around with possession.

The second half was when things got really bad, with another freak goal to go with Rooney’s from Sunday. After 3 mins of the half, Hull had a free kick , and Huddlestone’s drilled kick was going wide until it hit Jelavic on the back and diverted past Adrian.

To add to the oddness of the night a few minutes later a rare cross from Demel, was mis-kicked in for an own goal by James Chester. Thanks for that, you have saved our season, and unfortunately Sam’s job.

From then on Hull looked like they were the team with the extra man. But they didn’t threaten at all, and the game petered out into a WHU win. Sam did his usual winger for winger sub around the 65th min, taking of Diame (who played well) for Joe Cole. Matt Taylor was rubbish all night, and was left on !! and that was that.

The final whistle was met with boos all round, and Sam cupping his ear to the supporters. He really doesn’t get it. A win that is perpetuated by constant cheap loss of possession, and an all round bad display, is now affecting the previously silent majority. Everyone has had enough, its that simple Sam. Move on and all will be well. The amount if people who have told me they are not renewing is growing, and the dreams of filling the Olympic Stadium are fading and dying with him in charge (to quote a well known song of the East End).

To be fair, the fans were also booing the MOTM announcement before any player’s names were even mentioned !

I’ve just seen his post match interview on Sky and he really doesn’t understand. He has now had a pop at the fans on national telly. The next home game should be fun.

MOTM ( no boos) for me was James Tomkins. After the Rooney incident at the weekend, he did well, to come back and deliver a great consistent performance, especially after losing his usual partner after less then 10 minutes.

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The dodgy streets of the East End !

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Upton Park under lights

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Red Card and a physio guard of honour to lead him off.

West Ham United vs Manchester United EPL 22/03/2014

March 22, 2014 Leave a comment

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So no surprises here. the game was like the weather at Upton Park today. Started bright and became dull and boring. Big Sam will complain massively about both goals, for alleged infractions. Wrong. The press will say Utd have turned the corner. Wrong. They were average at best. The press will also say Wayne Rooney scores a wonder goal. I would challenge that as well, as it was an open goal due to poor positioning of the WHU keeper, which Rooney did well to steer in from distance. His second was more luck than judgement, but you gotta be in it to win it, so fair play to him.

Why am I so down ? I’ll tell you why. We witness once of worst Man U displays ever last week, and since then both Vidic and Ferdinand are not in the starting line up as well (for differing reasons). What does Sam do? Same old bollocks of starting AC on his own, and Diame down the wing. No dynamism, no change to catch out a weak opposition, just the same old nonsense. I have had enough, and once this season is finished (about next week, assuming we win our next 2 against Hull and Sunderland), Sam needs to be moved on. Also the players Sam put out there today could not be bothered in the slightest. That alone is a disgrace. So they are comfortable with Sam and him with them. Time for a shake up. So Sam leaves and he can take his mates with him.

Who next then? Last year i wanted Gus Poyet, and would still back that up. Why not Slaven Bilic as an option? Whoever it is, I don’t think I could put up with another season of the same old thing. But i don’t make the decision, and if we do win our next 2 (and I think we will), Sam will be home and hosed, and ready for next year.

No West Ham player had a good game today, so i’ll go with Wazza for the MOTM.

West Ham United vs Southampton EPL 22/02/2014

February 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Great team, great passing, great to watch, big away following, noisy away following, will upset a few big teams, too good to go down, not good enough for Europe. Once upon a time you could guarantee people would be taking about West Ham. These days its more likely that they are talking about Southampton.

Southampton came in good form, as they have held onto all season, but were running into a WHU team who themselves were on a good run. The game started (after the minutes applause for the passing of the legend that was Sir Tom Finney) with Southampton on fire and we were chasing shadows if I’m honest and it was no surprise when they took the lead after 8 minutes. The manner of conceding our first goal in over 4 games was more disappointing. There were 6 West Ham players in a row, marking space rather than players and this allowed Yoshida to ghost in unopposed to get his first goal of the season.

This seemed to wake the hammers up and our midfield in particular.  We started to see more of the ball and were closing down the effective play of the Saints a lot quicker which was starting to make them make mistakes. After 20 minutes, Kevin Nolan spotted a run from Matt Jarvis across their back line and lofted a beautiful ball into the danger zone, which Matty got onto, nuts the keeper and slots in the equalizer. To be fair if he had missed he was due a penalty as well, due to the keeper taking him out. There was a slight sniff of offside, but for once the luck was with us. 1-1

We didn’t have to wait long for the next goal, as the Hammers didn’t relent the pressure on the Saints. 3 minutes after the leveller, Carton Cole jumped out of the pack to bullet a header against the post, and the rebound came back to him (from Yoshida’s arm – another pen ?) and rifled in WHU’s second to make it 2-1 WHU after 23 mins. For the first time this season, football had broken out at Upton Park. Southampton continued their possessional play, and might of felt aggrieved not to be level at half time. Adrian did his part again and so did Guy Demel, making some key interventions and clearances.

The scoreline was interesting for me as Mrs MrBen had had her first ever football bet today. She picked WHU to win 2-1, so was hoping for a drab second half to ensure £100 quid into her pocket.

To be fair she looked good for it as the second half didn’t really live up to action of the first. WHU as usual, had  a period of play where they gave Southampton some opportunities to level, with both Adam Lallana and Gaston Ramirez wasting chances. However come the 71st minute, a lovely cross from Stewart Downing met the industrious Carlton Cole who nodded it down for Kevin Nolan to fire in an overhead kick from 5 yards out to bring another 3 points to Hammers. For once a comfortable win, to confirm their top half league aspirations, and extend their current form to 4 wins, one draw and only one goal conceded. And a game where the score was about right. If Diame’s speculative shot near the end hadn’t just hit the bar, but had gone in, the scoreline would of been unfair to Southampton. This game has probably won Sam the manager of the month award for Feb as well, without Andy Carroll for most of it. Things are looking good for the Hammers, and with Newcastle and Southampton slipping up more than expected currently, I don’t think we have finished our table climb. I was eyeing up Man U yesterday but their win against Palace probably makes them an unrealistic target now.

So some points of note. Sam has maintained then when the team is fit we can match anyone, and despite my reservations, he may be right. One other point is one I started last game. Adam Lallana on Sky commentary this morning, was being lauded as a cert for the plane to Brazil. Mark Noble played him off the park, and once again dominated a game with tackles, pick ups and directing play. He deserves a look in, if nothing else.

I have also decided to add a new feature to the blog, The Bloke Behind Me. Now this guy has been there some time, and comes out with the most inane nonsense,  week in week out .

So for the in inaugural TBBM, we have “James Collins has probably been our best player this season, but i wouldn’t have him in the team” Nice one mate. The only thing that will stop this feature is the 67 year old Angry John clumping him , so I have that in my influence sphere ! Nice to see Aussie John yesterday as well, coming back for a beer, even though he does live the far sticks of Essex these days.

MOTM for this week was once again Mark Noble. Another game dominated.

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The Italian Hammers contingent, gets even bigger

This man wears the no 1 jersey next season. Without a doubt.

This man wears the no 1 jersey next season. Without a doubt.

WHUFC vs Swansea City EPL 01/02/2014

February 2, 2014 Leave a comment

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The West Ham Italian Division, welcomes our new imports.

As well as managing football teams, it appears Mr Allardyce has added time travel to his skillset. Yesterday we moved from the 19th Century Football (TM J.Mourinho) to 21st Century defending according to Sam. Not that the defending should of been having to be used, but more of that later.

I arrived more in hope of a win rather than expecting one. Last years game, here was more what I expected, with Swansea on the attack and plucky old WHU getting away with it.

What i got was markedly different, with a positive WHU, attacking Swansea from the off and in reality, Swansea couldn’t cope. Our defence was containing the admittedly under par Swansea attack and Noble seemed to be everywhere. Carroll was dominating their defence in very impressive style, and you just felt it would be his day. More of that later as well.

The breakthrough came on the 27th minute with Noble picking up the ball in our box and spotting the run of McCartney on the left flank. George continued the run up the line and popped in a superb cross for Andy Carroll to rise high into the air and nod it down for Nolan, to get his first in a while, and his first of the game. Like the 58 outside on Green Street, we didn’t have to wait long for the next one (19 mins to be precise), when a Downing corner found Carroll on the far post, to nod it back in for his mate to double his tally for the day, and send the Hammers in 2-0 up at half time. That really doesn’t do justice to Carroll, as the height he got and the body twist to make the nod down accurate really has to be appreciated. However I cannot find any photos on line, so you will have to catch MOTD or sky or just believe me.

The second half seem to be going the same way, with WHU happy to let the The Jacks crack on in their own half and then use Carroll to involve everybody else in the play.  Then with half an hour to go everything changed. Carroll challenged Flores for the ball, and having seen that, my eyes has gone elsewhere (the incident was that much of nothing), only to catch Flores out of the corner of my eye, rolling around like a cheese in Gloucester. Game stops, Howard Webb comes over, straight red card to AC. What! Really ? I have tried to find content this morning to put up, but i’m struggling currently (edit, now have some). This was not a red card, yellow at a push. Mr Webb made a grave mistake, that (and lets be serious for a minute), could relegate us. I’m not too sure the FA will want their poster boy overturned on appeal, but it’s all in their hands now.

So WHU has to change formation for the last 30 mins, and did stoically. Special shouts out to Matt Taylor, James Collins and Mark Noble, who just threw everything out there to defend (in a 21st century fashion) our lead. So in the end, 3 points and another clean sheet (our 11th this season, why are we 3rd bottom ?) .

In fact everyone played their part yesterday, including Nocerino (Nosher, anyone), one of our new Italian imports,  who came on for the last 5 and looked lively going forward. James Tomkins made a tackle in the first half against Bony, that if it had of been made by Baresi, Beckenbauer, or (dare I say it) Moore, would of been lauded down the decades. If you see it, take into account the lad was on a yellow as well, and it was 0-0. Winston Reid made a welcome return to assist the late rearguard action. This probably signals then end of Tomkins’ run in the team, and is a shame, but we cannot accommodate everyone. It was also nice to see everyone in the correct positions, including Kevin Nolan, who put a shift in for the first time in a long time.

Anyway MOTM goes to big Kev for his contribution, but he was run close by Mark Noble, Andy Carroll and on the outside Matt Taylor.

Is this really a straight red , Mr Webb ?

Is this really a straight red , Mr Webb ?

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I think the look on his face says it all.

WHUFC vs Newcastle United 18/01/2014

January 19, 2014 Leave a comment

My first trip to the Boleyn in 2014, came after we had dragged ourselves out of the bottom three, via a win at fellow strugglers Cardiff. Also we had conspired in 2 back to back games to have no cup involvement for this year. With Collins back, and Carroll on the mend, believe it or not I actually fancied us to get 3 points at home against a Newcastle team , who have been a bit up or down themselves. The biggest blow was the loss of Tomkins, due to getting a silly red last week. Him and Collins (until Reid comes back), are as about as good as it gets at the back for WHU. Anyway, another defensive shuffle brought Matt Taylor in as right back. Now, using a left midfielder as a right back tells you everything Sam thinks about our current table topping youth policy !

As much as he puts a shift in , Matt Taylor was getting the run around in an unfair position, and that starts to stretch the defence, which didn’t help with Newcastle going 2-0 up with goals from Cabaye and Remy, and really looking to run away with it. However some persistence from Carlton Cole, got a (own) goal back just before half time and there was a small chink of light opening up for West Ham.

Morrison started the second half, which was a encouraging sign from Sam, that he thought it was on, and after 15 mins Carroll joined in on the pitch, in favour of the increasingly disappointing Diame. With a real two up top and some real supply with both Downing and Jarvis still on the pitch, WHU started to pressure the magpies, and both Carlton Cole and Andy Carroll missed sitters to equalise and possibly go on the register back to back wins.

And then Sam decided all the attacking was a bit too exciting , so he brought Joe Cole on for Jarvis. Now, like most WHU fans , i have always been a JC fan, but this time around the experiment has failed and needs curtailing as soon as possible.  He really offers nothing extra to what we already have for less wages, and therefore we need to replace him with something more suitable.

Anyway, WHU go on to stay 2-1 down until Cabaye put a lovely free kick in at the end of the game to seal the win for Newcastle.

So while I’ve cut JC off from the WHU gravy train, lets look at a couple of others in that midfield. Diame and Morrison. Both are similar , in as much they are game winners both on their day, but they really are not interested at WHU. TO my mind lookd like Diame wants out and Morrison is being played out of position. So if Diame want to go, lets move him on. Because if he is refusing to utilise his talent, all the cajoling in the world, from the current management team, will make no difference. Morrison is different. We keep hearing about how good he is, but apart from small flashes never see it. Now we have some established players up top, it makes sense to put him in the no 10 role. But with one up top , Sam will want to ever erratic Nolan there. Thererfore we have an issue. We can leave Morrison in the midfield but sitting along the line and waste him or we move him on as well, and see him become an international rated midfielder.

Interesting times for Sam, and he will need all his management skills to balance the team and get the points. If we right off the next game, away to Chelsea, February becomes massive for WHU, we have Swansea, Villa, Norwich and Southampton, with 3 of those at home . Take 10 points there and stay up, take 1 and get relegated, it really is that easy. Hopefully th Lescott deal will be complete in Jan as well to shore up out leaky defence.

Back to the game. Noble, and Collins played well, and when they were both on the park, Cole and Carroll looked a formidable partnership. But for his 2 goals i’ll give Cabaye the MOTM.

Sam, now is the time for you to do your job, and sort this mess out, or maybe we will move yo on in the January window as well.

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Deal or no Deal, Sam ? Its time to go to work.

WHUFC vs Chelsea EPL 23/11/2013

November 24, 2013 1 comment

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The WHU Charity for ex players and teams off form was well and truly open for business yesterday. Lampard gets 2 (to end his longest run without a premier league goal) and Chelsea keep a clean sheet (their first in 6 games). Thats the game review in a nutshell. We were gutless and all over the place, and that is the key issue. So not a normal game review today, more a review of WHU.

Chelsea played really well, and made an emphatic 3-0 nil win look workmanlike. However John Terry needs to have a look at himself. Chelsea won a penalty early on, and it was a pen all day long. Demel played very poor ball back to Jussi off his thigh, when he could of just played it out or let it go to his feet and Jussi took out the oncoming Oscar. Pen all day long. Oscar though did not have the ball. John Terry then ran the whole length of the pitch to remonstrate with the ref about sending Jussi off. In a country where we pride ourselves on fair play, is a disgrace and he should know better. He already knew by then (well I did !) that Chelsea would win this game by a mile, therefore take the free goal and move on. He carried this on right up until the game restarted. Low behaviour from a player admittedly with low standards, and just uncalled for. He also went after the ref (with another 50 yard run) in the second half after a Diame challenge. To think he used to be the England captain.

Now, this booing of Lampard. It used to be fun to make him the pantomime villian when he was young, but since then he has won League titles, FA Cups and played over 100 times for his country. Lets not forget the day we were partying in the streets of London after coming 3rd in the Championship and getting up through the playoffs, he was winning the Champions League. 

That lad was WHU through and through by birth and left for better things, and as the Chelsea fans sung yesterday “Frankie Lampard, he’s won more than you !” Fair play to him, and screaming at him only fires him up. Witness the celebration for scoring a penalty. Leave the guy alone and appreciate one of the best English players of the last 40 years. Where would his career had gone if he had of stayed? Same as Mark Noble’s in my opinion. For the record, before I get accused of being a Frank apologist, I also have mentioned previously the same treatment of Ryan Giggs. Oh and John Terry is fair game !

Anyway back to WHU. Shocking, plain and simple. We are staring relegation in the face and Sam has decided that petty grievances and stubbornness are the way forward. Diame should be the first name on the sheet, and it appears that some back of house shenanigans is restricting his time on the pitch. He needs to be in there to support Morrison going forward. Sam’s biggest issue is he wants 5 in the middle and have Kevin Nolan on the pitch. We have been carrying Nolan all season, and he needs a kick up the arse. OR we go 3 at the back, and drop a winger. As we have no recognised forward this shouldn’t be an issue. Forwards are another issue. Once again Sam has bought forwards and then doesn’t play them. Petric and Cole have been brought in and aren’t “match fit”. Well fucking play them in some matches then ! We are getting beat anyway, so give them some match practice. Talking of practice, Sam prides himself on his defending, but yesterday was just appalling. Demel’s contribution was mentioned earlier, but Collins was just as culpable for the second. He left his player (Oscar) to chase down another player. Ball goes to Oscar, and he scores. Like I said earlier, all over the place. 

As things are going  downwards towards the Championship, things need to change. Starting team should be:

Jussi,

Tompkins, Reid, Demel (Collins benched)

Diame, Morrison, Nolan, Noble, Downing (Cole benched, or Jarvis could come in for Nolan with a reshuffle).

Then CCole and whoever. 

Or chuck Joey in the back line and leave CC (and then one day AC) up top on their own.

Once more thing before i go. If I was on the board, i would be seriously looking at whether Sam has done his best with WHU, and it’s time to move him on prior to the Jan window. Shake his hand, thanks for getting us up and staying up, but the time has come. But as usual who comes in? Di Canio, no, Holloway, probably not (too used to failure). I have heard mention of Redknapp. Never go back rules say no. Malkay Mackay looks like he might like to leave Cardiff with the employment policy issues. He knows the club as well, and seems to be a bit like a young tough manager, who wont take the shit some of our team serve up. 

So not quite pressing the Sam out button, but hovering over it.

MOTM. Frank Lampard. 

Diame played well when he came on , and Joey fitted back in well. Morrison showed small examples of talent.